Highlights of Mayor Samsam Gullas’s second State of the City Address

1. EDUCATION. Though education was greatly affected by the pandemic, the Talisay City government, through Mayor Samsam’s leadership, continue to provide support to its public schools and to the Talisay City College. These included logistical support to public school teachers by providing them with printers with unlimited ink, risographs, photocopiers and around 50,000 reams of bondpaper to help in printing modules for their students. At the TCC, around 5,000 students are currently enrolled and are availing of the free tuition and miscellaneous fees. We have also established a new library and provided additional library collections in the new school building. Mayor Samsam also disclosed that the Talisay City School Division has already endorsed 15 students to avail of the city’s Cream of the Crop Program which provides city scholarships for poor but deserving students. He vows to increase the budget for the program for the fiscal year 2021.

2. AFTERCARE ON THE WAR ON DRUGS. Mayor Samsam praised the local police led by Police Maj. Gerald Ace Pelare for implementing relentless and aggressive anti-drug operations against illegal drug personalities in the city. Since July 2019 until today, the local police in Talisay City had 718 persons arrested for drugs and seized 7,649.75 grams of shabu which has a street value of P52,018.096. But aside from the relentless anti-illegal drug operations, Mayor Samsam and the local police launched “Oplan Limpyo Talisay” which aims to not only decreased illegal drug activity in the city but to get the cooperation of the community. A part of Oplan Limpyo Talisay is the successful rehabilitation of drug users through the city’s drug aftercare program and the city’s continuous barangay drug clearing program.

3. ENVIRONMENT. Mayor Samsam has implemented various environmental awareness programs during his second year in office including implementing numerous clean up drives. Before Covid-19, the city’s cleanup drives around the city has resulted to the city collecting close to 200,000 kilos of wastes particularly from river, creek and coastal cleanups. He also started programs to empower Talisaynons to clean up their communities such as the “Basura ko, Panginabuhi Ko” program which gives rewards to barangays, elementary and high schools for plastic wastes that have been collected and not thrown in their waterways or canals. While barangays are given rice and sardines in exchange for plastic waste, schools before the pandemic were given school supplies for plastic wastes as well. Mayor Samsam also initiated “Plastic nga Basura, Kwarta ang Resulta” which is a fair and exhibit activity where barangays and schools competed on how to use their plastic wastes to make fine works of art.

4. INFRASTRUCTURE. Mayor Samsam boasted of his close coordination with the city’s barangays in determining how they can allocate funds for infrastructure projects to be implemented in their areas. He particularly vowed to implement long-overdue drainage projects in areas where flooding has been a problem such as in San Roque, Poblacion, Pooc and Linao, among others. For next year, the City is set to build a social services building at the back of City Hall. The building is where the offices of City Health and City Social Welfare will be transferred and make them more accessible to all Talisaynons. Mayor Samsam added that by next year, the City will initiate the establishment of a dialysis center in the new social services building to help families who have members who are needed dialysis.

5. SPORTS AND WELLNESS. Just before the pandemic began, Mayor Samsam implemented various advocacies in the promotion of sports in the City including using social media as an avenue to help promote the usually staple Mayor’s Cup and as a way to promote the city’s athletes to a more bigger audience. Aside from securing various victories in sports activities in the local level, Mayor Samsam boasted that four Talisaynon also gave honor to the city by representing the country during the 30th Southeast Asian Games held in Manila by securing four golds, one silver and one bronze medal. He also assured that the City will continue supporting athletes from Talisay City should sports will resume after the pandemic.

6. AKSYON AGAD SERVICES. The Aksyon Agad team has been at the forefront of the mayor’s drive to provide assistance to every Talisaynon in any problem that they encounter in their community. Whether its cleaning canals, fixing street lights, fixing water pumps, trimming or cutting trees or anything, the Aksyon Agad Team will be there to help and address your problems immediately. Mayor Samsam also took pride with the city’s own CT-TODA team led by traffic czar Joy Tumulak whose personnel have been working day in and day out to ensure that our streets are traffic free. But one highlight of Mayor Samsam’s term is its Aksyon Agad Services to its consituents such as the immediate provision of burial assistance to those who need them. Through Mayor Samsam’s initiate, the City signed an agreement with two funeral service providers to provide free burial assistance to poor Talisaynons. The City also signed another agreement with a private diagnostics firm to provide free laboratory tests to Talisaynons. Through the Mayor’s initiative, the City established an Aksyon Agad Desk at the Talisay District Hospital to help aid poor constituents in their medical needs.

7. TOURISM. Though Covid-19 prevented its launch earlier this year, Mayor Samsam hopes to starts construction of his proposed Talisay Lechon Park and Boardwalk within this year. The park and boardwalk aims to help promote the city’s famous lechon and would serve as a foodcourt for tourists. But as the City awaits word of the resumption of tourism activities, Mayor Samsam has ordered the City Tourism Office to help find potential tourism sites across the city as a way to attract more local and international tourists to visit Talisay City. Some of the potential sites discovered are those located in the mountain barangays which can be easily trekked whether by foot or by bike.

8. DISASTER PREPAREDNESS. At the start of his term, Mayor Samsam boasted of the city’s new command center which would help monitor various areas in the city through the use of CCTV cameras. He also praised the personnel of the City Disaster Team for their indispensable role during the Covid-19 pandemic.